Biden in Kyiv to show solidarity as Ukraine war nears one year

Biden in Kyiv to show solidarity as Ukraine war nears one year

US President Joe Biden made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Monday to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, a gesture of solidarity that comes just days before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the country.

Biden met with Zelensky at the Mariinsky Palace to announce an additional half a billion dollars in US aid and to assure US and allied support to Ukraine if the conflict continues. “One year later, Kiev stands. And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands,” Biden said.

The trip to Ukraine comes at a critical moment in the war as Biden seeks to keep allies united in their support for Ukraine as the war is expected to intensify with both sides preparing for spring offensives. Zelensky is pressing allies to speed up deliveries of pledged weapons systems and calling on the West to deliver fighter jets to Ukraine – something that Biden has refused to do to date.

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Biden’s mission with his trip to Kiev, and then Warsaw, is to underscore that the US is prepared to push back Russian forces with Ukraine for “as long as it takes”, even as opinion polls shows that US and allied support direct funding to provide arms and ammunition is beginning to soften. For Zelensky, it is no small matter to have the US president standing shoulder to shoulder with him on Ukrainian soil as he implores the US and European allies to provide more advanced weapons and increase the pace of deliveries.

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